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Durango School District 9-R announces call for school board nominations

Districts B and D will be decided in Nov. 7 election
Board President Kristin Smith and Board Member Katie Stewart will run for their respective seats on the board again this fall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Another election season is around the corner for the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education, as two seats will be up for grabs in November.

The district will host a candidate information night at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Durango Public Library, highlighting two director offices in District B and District D, respectively.

Board President Kristin Smith currently holds District B, while board member Katie Stewart holds District D. Both are up for reelection.

The election will be on Nov. 7. Durango school district spokeswoman Karla Sluis confirmed to The Durango Herald via text message on Wednesday that Smith and Stewart intended to run again in 2023.

Smith was elected to the board of education in 2019 after defeating former board member Stephanie Moran. Smith won 56% of the votes in that race.

Stewart was appointed to the school board in 2021 after board secretary Andrea Parmenter, who was appointed to District D after the position was vacated by Mariana Valdez, moved out of the district and ran for election in District E.

Stewart is up for reelection because she served out the remainder of Parmenter’s term.

District D includes much of central and downtown Durango, including the The Grid and the South Side. District B includes much of the area west of U.S. Highway 550 north, including Roosa Avenue along U.S. Highway 160 West.

Candidates interested in running for the office of school director on the Board of Education must file a nomination petition signed by at least 50 eligible district electors. The nomination petition must be filed by 4 p.m. Sept. 1.

“The office of school board director is a significant and challenging commitment,” said current board member Rick Petersen. “The investment of effort in the future of our students and community makes the experience that much more rewarding.”

Candidate requirements include being a resident in the district, being a registered voter for at least a year, a resident of the district in which they are a candidate, and having no criminal conviction for a sexual offense against a child. Candidates also cannot campaign as a member of a political party.

The election will be administered by La Plata County Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Lee.

“Colorado law states that school districts have no choice but to go through county clerks to conduct their election,” Lee said.


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